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Album: Goldfrapp, Tales of Us (Mute)

Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory veer closer to the dreamy sensuality of Seventh Tree here than their glam electro-pop outings. Tales of Us has a stately pace and woozy beauty, with cinematic orchestration of swaying strings over acoustic guitar or mossy cello (though "Thea" has the beats and bass to give your sub-woofer a work out).

Goldfrapp's voice is icy pure: one moment, she sounds positively trad folk; next she's whispering seductively out of the corner of your speakers, or singing with a luxuriant laziness, lyrics drifting past like clouds. The duo describe the songs, largely given first names, as "character sketches", but narratives are hazy amongst the mysterious lushness of the arrangements and vocals.